OriginOil’s Algae Harvesting Systems Heading to Japan

August 30, 2012
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

OriginOil, Inc’s. research partner in Japan has reported receiving government funding for an ambitious algae biofuels program to provide renewable fuels and help eliminate radioactive materials, for which it intends to use OriginOil algae harvesting technology.

Dr. Takaaki Maekawa, President of the Research Institute of Tsukuba Bio-tech (RITB), has confirmed receiving grant approval from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) to build one-acre sites to prove biofuels production and toxic remediation using algae. Dr. Maekawa has made plans to employ OriginOil algae harvesting technology in programs funded by this grant and by private investors, potentially expanding to 100 sites or more.

“We are excited to be working with OriginOil on a major algae production program that also has the strategic support of our Agriculture Ministry,” said Dr. Maekawa. “It is our intention that more than a hundred algae production sites in Japan will include OriginOil technology.”

“We are delighted that our longtime collaborator, Doctor Maekawa, has succeeded in receiving major funding approval for these strategic algae initiatives,” said Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil CEO. “We intend to put all available resources to work to help him alleviate the energy and environmental crises afflicting the people of Japan.”

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese government has made the development of renewable energy a top budgetary priority. The Fiscal Year 2013 budget has placed no limit on reconstruction expenses following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Algae production has the unique potential to both provide renewable fuels and also help eliminate radioactive materials from contaminated lands.

In numerous studies, algae has been shown to absorb radioactive cesium, a contaminant that can cause radiation sickness and death. In a recent test by the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), a strain of microalgae successfully removed nearly 90% of all radioactive material from cesium-contaminated water.

A respected algae researcher, Dr. Maekawa is Professor Emeritus at Tsukuba University near Tokyo. In 2009, his company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with OriginOil to develop and distribute algae systems in Japan. With the new funding, he plans to collaborate closely with OriginOil to integrate its harvesting technology into the new systems.

According to Doctor Maekawa, the Ministry has approved initial funding for two initial sites, each more than an acre in size. One is planned near Narita International Airport and the other in Fukushima, site of the March 2011 nuclear accident. After proving is complete, the program could potentially expand to over 100 sites throughout Japan.

More Buzz…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2012 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Brian Krassenstein, writing in 3Dprint.com, goes deeper into the recent paper in Engineering in Life Sciences journal discussing the impact 3D bioprinting will have in th...
K. S. Rajgopal writes in thehindu.com about a new study that demonstrates how macroalgal biomass from Gelidiella acerosa and Gracilaria dura collected from Adri and Verav...
None of us would be alive if sperm cells didn’t know how to swim, or if the cilia in our lungs couldn’t prevent fluid buildup. But we know very little about the dynamics ...
Jeff Gelski writes in foodbusinessnews.net that algae oil is now in the toolbox of alternative oils shown to replace partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which cause trans...
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing an early warning indicator system using historical and current satellite data to detect algal blooms. EPA res...
Tubular glass photobioreactor (PBR) systems protect algae from harmful environmental factors, keeping strains safer from bio-contamination. The glass tubing itself can be...
Algae “red tide” events often create dazzling nighttime light shows of blue-green bioluminescence resulting from the force generated by breaking waves. While many mysteri...
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has named Solazyme CEO and co-founder Jonathan S. Wolfson as the recipient of its 2015 George Washington Carver Award for in...
John O’Renick, in this insightful piece from the Portland (Oregon) Tribune, writes about the problems we create from treating waste streams as garbage to be disposed of i...
While aquafarmers in Maine have been harvesting seaweed for nearly 80 years, for a variety of uses and products, in recent years wild harvests have not been able to meet ...
Rich McEachran writes in the Guardian that, in the process of surfacing a road, layers of asphalt – which is composed mostly of bitumen (a byproduct of crude oil distilla...
EnAlgae researchers have published an economic model to help to explore the economics of cultivating macroalgae at sea. The model and report can be found here as outputs ...
Earthrise Nutritionals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo, Japan’s DIC Corporation, is on schedule to complete construction in August, 2015, of a new extraction plant fo...
Tom Redmond and Yuko Takeo report for Bloomberg.com that, after 10 years of developing algae as a nutritional supplement generating $37.8 million in annual revenue, Japan...
Scientists have been investigating the likely future impact of changing environmental conditions on ocean phytoplankton, which forms the basis of all the oceans' food cha...